🔄 Updated on November 18th, 2022
Australian Shepherds are a popular breed of dog known for their intelligence, agility, and loyal companionship. Sure, my girl tends to be on the high-maintenance side, but once I got into a regular grooming routine, my Aussie’s upkeep has never been an issue.
However, one question that often comes up when it comes to this breed is “Are Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?” So, if you’re interested in getting an Australian Shepherd and allergies are a concern, keep reading.
What Is a Hypoallergenic Dog?
A common misconception I had is that dog allergies stem from a dog’s hair. Pet allergies are triggered by a protein in the dog’s saliva, dander, and urine. That protein gets all over their fur when they groom themselves, which is why an allergy to dogs can be so severe.
Some dogs have less of the allergy-inducing protein in their saliva. They also shed less and produce less dander. These are the dogs people consider hypoallergenic.
Unfortunately, there’s still no real evidence hypoallergenic dogs exist. Much of the evidence to support their existence is anecdotal. However, some breeds are less likely than others to trigger an allergic reaction in people with pet allergies.
Breeds dubbed hypoallergenic are bred to produce less dander and shed less, so they aren’t as likely to trigger allergic reactions in humans. However, that doesn’t mean your dog won’t shed. All dogs shed some fur, and the Aussie is no exception. If you’ve ever witnessed an Aussie coat blow, you’ll know. Coat blow is when your dog sheds its undercoat to prepare for summer.
Popular breeds that tend to be more allergy-friendly include
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
These dogs shed less than other breeds, including the Australian Shepherd. In addition, they take less time to groom, making it easier for you to avoid a house full of pet hair and dander.
Are Aussies Hypoallergenic?
Sadly, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic Australian Shepherd. Australian Shepherds don’t have any unique characteristics that make them less likely to cause allergic reactions in those with dog allergies.
Aussies shed far more than most dogs due to their double coat and coat blow, which happens once or twice a year.
Coat blow happens because Aussies have a double coat that consists of a wooly undercoat with a water-resistant top coat.
As the weather warms up in spring, your Aussie will start to shed its undercoat. The first time it happened with my pup, I felt like I was drowning in furballs and stray hair. So, prepare yourself if you end up getting an Australian Shepherd.
Australian Shepherd Allergies: What Allergy Sufferers Should Know
Allergy sufferers know how uncomfortable being around a dog can be. Especially one that sheds and puts off a lot of dander. So, keep the following things in mind when choosing a dog, regardless of the breed.
Know Your Triggers
First, know the common triggers. People with dog allergies get set off by pet dander, hair, and saliva, which are each present in droves on an Aussie.
In addition, an Australian Shepherd’s double coat provides plenty of fur to shed. So, a proactive step you can take is to groom your pup using a rake regularly.
Know What Can Help
Being proactive about your allergies can help reduce symptoms when spending time with your canine companion. Proactivity includes daily allergy medication to reduce your reaction to allergens. Keeping your home clean and dust-free will also eliminate some triggers.
Know Your Commitment
Most importantly, and I can’t stress this enough, be confident in your choice if you choose to get an Aussie.
They aren’t ideal for allergy sufferers because they shed copiously and require regular grooming. So, if you decide to get one, understand the type of commitment you’re undertaking.
Helpful Tips for Allergy Sufferers Living With Aussies
If allergies and owning an Australian Shepherd were two challenges on their own, figuring out how to manage both can seem impossible.
If you already live with an Aussie, your allergies are probably making life miserable, especially during blowout season. Here are a few tips for making life easier.
Talk to Your Housemates
If you live with roommates, have a sit down with them about how to handle the dog. If the dog is yours, the responsibility will fall mainly on your shoulders. However, if your roommates share responsibilities, you all must be on the same page about cleanup.
On the other hand, if your roommate is the Aussie owner, have a frank discussion about how they can help. Ideally, they’ll do the rest of the things on this list to help keep you from being miserable.
First and foremost, keep your space clean by regularly vacuuming and dusting to reduce allergens. Some Australian Shepherds may have long hair that can hold onto dander, so invest in a good vacuum made explicitly for pet hair.
Remember, dog allergens can latch onto anything. Fur and dander can get stuck to your shoes, stick to soft furniture, and permeate your carpets. Vacuuming and giving everything a wipe-down at least twice a week will limit your suffering.
Groom Outside and Often
Your Aussie will require regular grooming to avoid severely triggering your allergies. Before getting your dog, head to the pet store and stock up on grooming tools designed for double-coated pups like Aussies.
Coat blow season will be especially tough, so prepare for significant shedding. Brush your pup outside or in a well-ventilated area at least twice a week to limit the dander they bring inside the house.
Talk to Your Doctor
If allergies are more severe, consider consulting an allergist for further suggestions. They might consider options like installing a HEPA filter, air purifier, or hypoallergenic bedding for you and your dog.
It’s also helpful to include allergies in the conversation when grooming or visiting the vet. The vet can give you suggestions on how to mitigate the worst of dog allergens. For example, they might know an excellent soap or cleaning product that combats dander.
One of the best things about Aussies is their love of cuddling and playing. Their friendliness is one of the characteristics that draw people to Australian Shepherds in the first place. But, unfortunately, that cuddling is bound to trigger your allergies.
And although it may be tempting, resist cuddling up with your furry friend on the couch. Instead, designate specific areas in the house as “pet-free” zones to lessen exposure to allergy triggers. For example, your bedroom should always be pet free, as well as the furniture you sit on most.
No Pee Pads Inside
The protein that causes dog allergies is present in dog urine. So, if your Aussie ever uses pee pads to urinate indoors, it’s time to reconsider. Having dog urine in the house will trigger an allergic reaction, so you need to minimize contact with it.
If you’re house-training an Aussie puppy, pee pads might be unavoidable. When that’s the case, keep them by the door. However, the best practice is to take your dog outside as often as possible.
Do you have more questions about Australian Shepherds, allergies, and how to deal? Here are the answers to a few common questions.
Are mini Aussies more hypoallergenic than standard Aussies?
Unfortunately, the mini Australian Shepherd is no better for allergy sufferers than the standard pups. The main difference is that their smaller stature means less dander. Still, the protein in their saliva will trigger the same reaction as their bigger cousins.
Are Australian Shepherd mixes hypoallergenic?
Certain breeds might lead to an Australian Shepherd hypoallergenic mix. Australian Shepherd mixes might be somewhat hypoallergenic if mixed with the right breed. For example, poodles are ideal for people with pet allergies. An Aussie-poodle mix could result in a more allergy-friendly dog.
What breed of dog causes the worst allergic reactions?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the worst breeds for allergy sufferers include the German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Saint Bernard, and Siberian Husky.
What are the signs I’m allergic to my Australian Shepherd?
If you’re allergic to your Aussie, your nose, eyes, and skin will tell you. Hives, itchy, watery eyes, difficulty breathing, and a runny nose are all common signs your Australian Shepherd is triggering your allergies.
Wrapping Up: Are Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?
At the end of the day, no dog is truly hypoallergenic. Still, some breeds are less likely to affect allergy sufferers. So, for the 10 to 20 percent of people who suffer from dog allergies, there’s some hope you can own your very own dog.
The best advice I can offer you if you want an Australian Shepherd is to prepare ahead of time and talk to your doctor. An Aussie isn’t out of the question, but you should know what you’re getting into first.